What difference does pharmacology make in the world?

Pharmacologists, and the work they do, help millions of people across the world. Pharmacologist looking down microscopeAs new diseases emerge, it is even more important for pharmacologists to find new, better and safer treatments. The examples featured below have all helped people feel better because of a new or improved medicine. This shows the difference a career as a pharmacologist can make. ​​

Pharmacologists are interested in problems. And in life-changing solutions.

Sir James Black was a Nobel-Prize winning pharmacologist who studied the hormone adrenaline. This led him to develop one of the most important heart drugs of all time – called a beta-blocker. Today, millions of people across the world take beta-blockers to help their heart keep ticking over normally. 

You may have heard about the famous scientist Alexander Fleming, or his most famous discovery, an antibiotic called penicillin. Without the discovery of penicillin, most of the surgical operations we take for granted today could not take place. Successful treatment of diseases like cancer would not be possible. The discovery of penicillin meant that doctors could now treat many infections that were previously incurable. Today it remains one of the most important medicines worldwide.


​Ibuprofen is a painkiller you might have heard of. People take it to relieve pain from conditions like arthritis. However, some people can’t take ibuprofen, because it affects their stomach. Pharmacologists developed a different formulation of the drug that is rubbed into the body where it is needed. This means people can still benefit from the drug, without unwanted side effects. 

If you would like to explore more about where medicines and drugs come from, and how research can help us to discover new medicines, why not explore these articles from  the Frontiers for Young Minds team? They have brought together an exciting collection of articles, focussing on important medicines including antibiotics and cancer drugs, exploring how these medicines were developed and the impact they have had.